5 Things About Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

June 16, 2016 Review 30 ★★★★

5 Things About Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
(Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository)

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Source: Netgalley
Pages: 528
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
Genres: Fantasy & Magic, LGBT, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Simon Snow just wants to relax and savor his last year at the Watford School of Magicks, but no one will let him. His girlfriend broke up with him, his best friend is a pest, and his mentor keeps trying to hide him away in the mountains where maybe he’ll be safe. Simon can’t even enjoy the fact that his roommate and longtime nemesis is missing, because he can’t stop worrying about the evil git. Plus there are ghosts. And vampires. And actual evil things trying to shut Simon down. When you’re the most powerful magician the world has ever known, you never get to relax and savor anything.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story — but far, far more monsters.

I received this book for free from the source listed above in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

My first LGBTQ+ book

I don’t know how I’ve managed to continue in modern YA without coming across a LGBTQ+ book, well at least one featuring LGBTQ main characters romance. It’s probably because I mainly stick to fantasy and don’t venture into contemporary romance for a while. Anyway moving on. The romance was good! A little strange at first because it was a new reading experience, but I liked the way it built. Though it got a little sappy for a which got on my nerves at times.

love the magic system

THIS MAGIC SYSTEM IS THE COOLEST THING EVER. It’s not just boring old spells in latin or some other foreign language. The spells in the Simon Snow universe are based on our pop culture. Popular songs, phrases, sayings can have extra meaning in this world an dI loved that so much. It was hilarious seeing phrases like “you can’t touch this” pop up. I laughed so much. And it makes me wonder what types of spells other phrases could be, like “I ship it” and “swag”!

This is the best

It was highly entertaining

The hilarious spells was only beginning of the fun in CARRY ON. I found so many elements entertaining. The pop culture references was enhanced by some brilliant sarcasm by all lot of the main characters. The writing kept the pages turning even if things were a tad slow at times. And the British slang was amazing to read (I never realised how similar Aussie slang could be to it sometimes until now)

Baz is my favourite

All the characters in CARRY ON were great but Baz was easily my favourite. He took a while to show up, and other characters were creating high expectations of what to expect to him and he met all of them. He was such a dick. A major shit stirrer, sassy, and full of himself. So much fun to read about, but would probably be such a pain in real life. Penelope and Ebb are neck and neck for my favourite side characters. Simon on the other hand was a bit bland for a while and also kind of a stalker…


I want more

CARRY ON just introduced me to such a cool universe and I don’t want to leave it. The magic is so unique and hilarious, the characters so interesting. So much more of the characters and past events could be explored because as much as I loved the world, the actual events of the ending didn’t affect me too much. I didn’t particularly care because I was still missing some emotional connection to a couple of characters involved (for example the Mage. He barely made an appearance in CARRY ON, but was mentioned a lot). I also really wish we could have seen more of Ebb View Spoiler » banner divide

CARRY ON was a highly entertaining novel that I think any fans of fantasy will enjoy. It features one of the most interesting magic systems I’ve ever read about, intriguing plot, and great characters. The only thing I can complain about is that I would have like more exploration of some side characters and the villains. 

Rating Report
Overall: 4.3

30 Responses to “5 Things About Carry On by Rainbow Rowell”

  1. Cynthia

    What an excellent review. Thanks for bringing this book to my attention, It sounds like it takes paranormal YA to the next level and we are to expect some copy cats… I’ll be picking this one up!

    • Bec

      Oh that sucks that you can’t connect to her writing :/ I have a few authors like that and it’s frustrating because their books have such cool premises.

      Thanks :)

    • Bec

      Yeah I’ve had bits and pieces in side characters, but this is the first book where the MAIN characters are gay and their romance is central to the plot.

      I’ll have to look into them further!

  2. Elizabeth @ Book Yabber

    YAY!!! So glad you enjoyed CARRY ON! If you’re looking for other LGBTQ+ books, I suggest, SIMON VS THE HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA by Becky Albertali, MORE HAPPY THAN NOT by Adam Silvera, and IF I WAS YOUR GIRL by Meredith Russo.

    Baz is my favorite too! He’s got that mysterious bad boy thing going for him. LOL! Have you read FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell? There’s a bit more Simon and Baz in that book.
    Elizabeth @ Book Yabber recently posted…Horror Review: PHOBIC by Cortney Pearson

    • Bec

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about those first two, but this is the first I’ve heard of that last one. I’ll have to look into it.

      Haha he is the mysterious bad boy and snarky as hell. So fantastic. I read Fangirl when it first came out and am due for a reread! I loved it so much.

  3. Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books

    I can’t believe this was your first LGBT book!! I don’t read a lot of fantasy, so I didn’t realize that that wasn’t a common theme there. Interesting. Anyway I would totally rec I’ll Give You the Sun if you wanted to read more :) Carry On is my book club book next month, so I’m going to try to read it soon. Glad you liked it and even wanted more!! I’ve heard such mixed things about this book, but I did LOVE Fangirl so I’ve been wanting to try it!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…New YA Releases for the Week of 6/12

    • Bec

      It’s there, but usually not so central to the plot. More books with it as a central theme are emerging though!

      I just downloaded that audiobook because it was free as part of the audiobooksync program. I didn’t realise it was LGBT.

      I hope you love Carry On!

    • Bec

      Hahahaha HP/Twilight parody sort of explains it but is also way off. I hope you get to read it soon!

  4. Romi

    I actually had a not so great experience with this! Which was so disappointing, because I thought it sounded amazing and I wanted to read something not-contemporary by Rainbow Rowell, but it was just far too similar to Harry Potter, which is a series I’ve grown up with and have this passionate relationship with, for me to enjoy or even find myself able to become at all invested in. Thinking about it, I’m still a little sad that that happened, because it sounds like such a great book and people are so passionate about the characters from where they show up in Fangirl and I wanted to be a part of that passion! But twas not to be.

    I didn’t get all the way through the book itself, unfortunately- I can’t remember where I stopped- but I do remember the magic system and whilst I do think it’s kinda great and terribly unique (and food for much amusement, especially when the characters take it all so seriously! *laughs*) but because I didn’t care about the story, I didn’t really care about that aspect. I think I probably would have appreciated it a lot more. I’m glad to hear it was one of the standout points for you, though, Bec! It’s definitely a change from spell casting in most books *laughs* And that’s great! And it’s familiar for readers who know pop culture, too, which makes it really unusual.

    I’m glad this was a good experience overall, and especially since it was your first foray into LGBTIQA+ fiction! Simon Vs. is so wonderful, if you’re looking to reading more. xx
    Romi recently posted…Why is This Night Different From all Other Nights by Lemony Snicket…

    • Bec

      That’s a shame :(

      I had heard a lot of people with the HP similarity criticism before I start it, so when I went in I made sure to look for differences and I found a lot. It also helps that I’m also new to the HP world so don’t have as deep of a connection as others.

      I definitely plan on reading Simon Vs one day! I’ve heard so many good things about it.

    • Bec

      It was so good!

      Haha my first LGBTQ+ with a gay romance between main characters as the focus haha. There aren’t many of those over here in fantasy and sci fi land yet. It’s more a contemporary theme haha

    • Bec

      I haven’t read Eleanor & Park yet! But it’s on my TBR.

      Hope you enjoy it when you read it! Thanks :D

  5. ShootingStarsMag

    I STILL NEED TO READ THIS. It’s ridiculous, seriously. I loved the Simon parts in Fangirl (though others didn’t, I know) and I bought Carry On the DAY it came out. haha Anyway, I’m so glad you enjoyed this one. And OMG! You must read more LGBT+ fiction. I just love it. I have a whole blog on LGBT+ entertainment and news, with a lot of book reviews if you’re curious: http://www.letsgetbeyondtolerance.blogspot.com

    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas Cover Reveal

    • Bec

      You need to get on it! It’s so good.

      I’ll have to take a look at that blog for recs methinks.

  6. Emily @ Alwaysopinionatedgirl

    I love Carry On! I definitely agree with you when it comes to the magic, I think it’s really clever how pop culture is used but it must have taken forever to think of them all! Personally I really liked the links/references to Harry Potter, whilst also being its own unique book. One of my favourite things about this book is the realistic and amusing references to British culture, which I loved as a Brit. Overall I really enjoyed this book. Great review!
    Emily @ Alwaysopinionatedgirl recently posted…Snap! Book covers that match

    • Bec

      Yes! I thought it was sort of a tribute to HP in a way? Like Fangirl was sort of a tribute to it and what it meant to a lot of young readers, and this just sort of continued it. And there are a lot of aspects that made it incredibly unique and different.

      Haha I’m an Aussie and the British slang was great (and close enough to ours that I understood).

      Thanks :D

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